If you are an able-bodied worker in good health, you probably never think about what would happen if you were suddenly injured or disabled due to a work related injury. In fact, few people realize how quickly an accident can change their life forever. When an accident at work results in an injury which causes a short or long term disability, performing day-to-day tasks may become impossible.
Workers’ compensation and Social Security Disability benefits are available to most workers injured on the job. Claiming these benefits however may not be as simple as you might think. Insurance companies are notorious for wanting to pay out as little money as possible, regardless of the legitimacy of the claim. Another problem plaguing these programs is fraud which makes it harder for those who are truly in need of benefits. Finally, in a situation where a person becomes disabled, benefits received are rarely considered “compensation” for a life changing incident.
Adjusting to life with a disability is challenging enough, without the additional financial burden of not being able to work. Depending on the injury, some workers will be able to go back to work in the future, while others find themselves limited in the type of work they can perform. Serious injuries or disabilities often render a person unable to work at all, for the remainder of their life.
With so many possible scenarios, how are disability benefits determined? Who decides how much your disability is “worth”. Do you receive more money for the loss of a limb or the loss of use? There is a system in place which puts a value on different injuries or disabilities. This is how your benefits are determined. How much and how long benefits will be paid is based on whatever value has been assigned to your disability.
Unfortunately the compensation for a disability is never enough. When an injury permanently alters the way in which you live your life, no about of money will change the situation. Sadly many workers who are injured or disabled on the job find themselves fighting an uphill battle to get the compensation to which they are entitled. With many states considering legislation which limits the benefits of injured workers, it may become even harder for individuals with disabilities to receive even the minimum compensation they deserve.